How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Week? (2023)

How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Week? (1)

When people want to start losing weight, they are understandably impatient.

They want to lose it now, fast, and be done with it!

And I get that, I really do…

However, the reality is that if you’re looking to lose a considerable amount of weight, you are not going to lose it all overnight.

Sorry, but that’s the truth.

On the upside, you can absolutely lose weight consistently each week, utilizing the right combination of diet and exercise (mostly diet).

So, for the purpose of goal setting, many people find it helpful to think about weight loss in weekly terms.

That is, how much weight they have to lose each week to reach their goals.

This makes larger weight loss goals seem much more attainable. After all, it can seem pretty discouraging to think about having to lose 50 pounds – but much less discouraging if your break that down into 2 pounds per week for 25 weeks.

Which, of course, begs a further question: how much weight can you realistically lose per week, so that you can accomplish your total weight loss goal as fast as possible?

(Video) What’s the MOST Amount of Fat You Can Lose in a Week? (And How To Do It)

And since this is a very good question – and one that I get a lot – I’ve decided to dedicate an entire article to it!

A Quick Primer On Weight Loss

Now, before I begin, this article will NOT be discussing specific methods that you should be using to lose weight.

I have discussed this in other articles, and will undoubtedly discuss it more in future articles, so for now the focus will purely be on the question at hand.

Basically, when it comes down to it, weight loss is entirely driven by caloric intake vs caloric expenditure.

That is, if you take in fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

How much weight you’ll lose will depend primarily on how much of a caloric deficit is created each day.

This, in turn, is dependent on many factors, including but not limited to food consumption, metabolic rate, activity level, thermic effect of food, and NEAT variation.

But at the end of the day, all of these factors come together to create a specific caloric deficit – the number of calories below your maintenance level of calories (also known as TDEE) that your body now has to work with.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are getting 500 calories per day less than your maintenance level, you will lose 1 pound per week.

By the same logic, if you have a maintaince level of 2000 calories per day, but are only eating 1500 calories per day – and burning an additional 500 calories through exercise – then you will lose roughly 2 pounds per week.

This is how both diet and exercise come together to create the calorie deficit, which results in weight loss.

(Video) How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Week ?, Healthy Diet, Diet Tips

Now, in terms of how much weight you can lose in a week, the short answer is a whole lot, at least initially…

Yup, if you are fairly overweight – say a 6 foot male who weighs 230 pounds at a 35% body fat – and do very little exercise, then you would have a maintenance calorie level of around 3200 calories per day.

If you suddenly dropped your calories down to 2000 per day, and started burning an additional 500 calories with daily cardio, then you could stand to lose 3-4 pounds a week.

Even more if you limited your salt intake, since you would also begin to shed water weight at the same time.

This is often what has happened when you hear these crazy stories of so and so losing 10 pounds in a week.

Yes, some of them are made up crap, but others are actually true. You can lose that amount of weight in a week, based on manipulating the factors that I outlined above.

But that doesn’t mean it is sustainable, week after week. Nor does it mean that it’s a good idea, or that you won’t suffer all sorts of unpleasant consequences as a result.

So, really, the more appropriate question is how much weight should you be losing per week? And that is exactly what we are going to address next…

How Much Weight Should You Lose Per Week?

Now this is a better question!

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do it…

Most of the people I work with don’t just want to lose weight as their ultimate goal; they want to look better.

(Video) Lose Weight Fast – Drop 1 SIZE In 1 Week GUARANTEED! – Dr.Berg

And that means having a better overall body composition: less fat and more muscle.

However, when you lose too much weight too quickly, you’ll pretty much always end up losing a lot of muscle mass as well.

This is why I generally discourage drastic bulking and cutting cycles, since it is very easy to lose most of the muscle that you worked hard to put on, if you insist on losing weight so quickly.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t aim to lose more than 2 pounds of weight per week, if you are at all concerned with retaining muscle mass and maintaining strength.

If you have more body fat, and are less concerned with your current muscle mass, then you may want to operate on the higher side of this number for a little while – losing between 2-3 pounds per week.

This may be the case if you’ve never built up any muscle before, and really only care about seeing the number come down on the scale.

To do this, you would need to eat 1000-1500 calories less than you are burning each day. This can be achieved through whatever combination of diet or exercise that you want, but realistically the majority of it will be diet, since there are only so many calories that you are going to burn in a day from exercise.

If you are on the leaner end – say 15% body fat or less – and are more concerned with maintaining muscle mass, then I would aim to lose no more than 1.5 pounds per week.

This can be accomplished with a 750 calorie deficit per day or less, which is fairly manageable for most people.

I should also mention that it is important to keep your protein consumption high while losing weight – even higher, in fact, than if you are looking to put on weight! There are several reasons for this.

For one, protein requires more energy to metabolize than carbs or fats, meaning that you’ll burn more, calorie for calorie, from eating it.

(Video) How much weight can you realistically lose in one week? (Science based)

Secondly, protein will help you feel more full and satisfied, which will make it easier to stomach eating fewer calories than you’re used to.

Finally, having a high protein consumption will mitigate the amount of muscle/strength that you’ll lose when losing weight.

I would recommend getting at least 1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass per day when trying to lose weight.

In Summary

As you can probably tell, I am not a big fan of crash diets…

Losing a huge number of pounds in a short period of time can make for compelling headlines, but it is hardly sustainable or healthy, and will likely make you miserable.

In the long run, this will lead to decreased dietary compliance, and yo-yo dieting. Not the way to go.

Instead, stick to the guidelines that I’ve outlined above, and then figure out from that how long it will take you to lose the required amount of weight.

What you’ll typically find is that even if your are looking to lose a lot of weight, it won’t take that long if you’re consistent.

This is why transformations like Chris Pratt losing 60 pounds in 6 months are possible.

If you break it down, that is 2.3 pounds per week for 26 weeks – a hefty yet achievable goal, especially if you are willing to suffer some muscle/strength loss.

However, don’t go crazy and try losing 50 pounds in a month!

(Video) Fat Loss Per Week | How Much?

Trust me, the process would leave you feeling so terrible and tired, that it would be almost impossible to sustain.

FAQs

Is it possible to lose 10 pounds in a week? ›

Fast weight loss, such as losing 10 pounds in a week, is possible — but it's usually not worth it. In fact, it could be detrimental to your physical and mental health. In reality, plans and programs that promise rapid weight loss or extreme results are best avoided.

Can you lose 5 pounds in a week? ›

Five pounds per week is an aggressive, unrealistic, and potentially unhealthy weight-loss goal. You did not put all the weight on in one month, so you should not expect to lose it all in one month either! As a general rule, you should aim for 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week.

Can someone lose 7 pounds in a week? ›

While losing 7 pounds or more per week is possible, it is certainly not safe and healthy. If you lose weight rapidly, you will only eradicate water from your body and not your body fat. You can't safely burn 7 pounds in just a week (5). Fast weight loss also flushes out stored glycogen and lowers your insulin levels.

How much weight will I lose if I stop eating for a week? ›

To prevent excessive muscle loss, the body begins to rely on fat stores to create ketones for energy, a process known as ketosis. During the first 5 days without food, a person may lose 1 to 2 kilograms (2.2 to 4.4 pounds) of body weight each day.

Does drinking water help you lose weight? ›

Water can be really helpful for weight loss. It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals. The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary beverages with water. It is a very easy way to cut back on sugar and calories.

How do you speed up weight loss? ›

9 weight loss tips
  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. ...
  2. Limit sugary drinks and fruit juice. ...
  3. Stay hydrated. ...
  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. ...
  5. Eat more fiber. ...
  6. Drink coffee or tea. ...
  7. Base your diet on whole foods. ...
  8. Eat slowly.

How can I drop 10 lbs fast? ›

Here are the experts' top five tips to quickly lose 10 pounds.
  1. Eat Healthy. Healthy eating is one of the best ways to aid weight loss. ...
  2. Control Your Portion Size. Paying attention to the portion of your meals is a great way to start your weight loss journey. ...
  3. Track your Meals. ...
  4. Stay Hydrated. ...
  5. Be Active.
9 Jun 2016

How can I lose 1 pound per day? ›

How To Lose A Pound A Day: 10 Ways To Achieve This
  1. Increase fiber intake.
  2. Don't drink your liquids.
  3. Switch to zero-calorie substitutes.
  4. Make swaps to your food.
  5. Add volume to meals.
  6. Eat home cooked food.
  7. Watch your portion sizes.
  8. Regularly exercise.

Is water weight a thing? ›

Any extra water being held in the body is referred to as “water weight.” When water builds up in the body, it can cause bloating and puffiness, especially in the abdomen, legs, and arms. Water levels can make a person's weight fluctuate by as much as 2 to 4 pounds in a single day.

Where do you lose weight first? ›

Mostly, losing weight is an internal process. You will first lose hard fat that surrounds your organs like liver, kidneys and then you will start to lose soft fat like waistline and thigh fat. The fat loss from around the organs makes you leaner and stronger.

How many pounds will I lose if I fast for 7 days? ›

Weight Loss

Some studies show that it can help you lose up to 1 pound per day. This is largely due to the restricted calorie intake that makes your body burn stored fat for energy (2).

How can I loose 10 lbs in 2 weeks? ›

A workout plan to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks may involve:
  1. 30 minutes of running to burn 300 calories.
  2. 15 minutes of rope jumping to burn 200 calories.
  3. 30 minutes of HIIT to burn 400 calories.
  4. 30 minutes of swimming to burn 350 calories.
  5. 1 hour of cycling to burn 850 calories.
  6. Total calories burned per day – 2,100.

Will I lose weight if I eat once a day? ›

Study participants who tried eating one meal a day ended up with less total body fat. This particular group of people didn't experience significant weight loss. That said, intermittent fasting in general has proven to be an effective weight-loss method. The typical weight loss is 7 to 11 pounds over 10 weeks.

How long can a human go without eating? ›

Altogether, it seems possible to survive without food and drink within a time span of 8 to 21 days. If a person is only deprived of food, the survival time may even go up to about two months, although this is influenced by many factors.

What happens after 3 days of not eating? ›

After two or three days, your body starts to break down fatty tissue. Your muscles use the fatty acids created during this process as their main source of fuel. Fatty acids are also used to form ketones in the liver. Ketones are another substance the body can use for energy.

Can you lose weight by not eating? ›

Fasting for a certain number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple days a week, can help your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.

Do you pee a lot when losing weight? ›

Fat burning can make you pee more because when the body breaks down fat cells for energy, one of the byproducts of this process is water which you pee or sweat out of the body [1]. One of the ways to boost fat metabolism is by decreasing your food intake through dietary changes.

What should I drink at night to lose weight? ›

6 bedtime drinks that can boost weight loss overnight
  • Greek yogurt protein shake. As noted above, having protein before bed—especially if you've worked out beforehand—helps stimulate the repair and rebuilding of muscle (muscle protein synthesis) while you sleep. ...
  • Chamomile tea. ...
  • Red wine. ...
  • Kefir. ...
  • Soy-based protein shake. ...
  • Water.
26 May 2022

How much water should I drink to lose weight? ›

Drinking at least 64 ounces (eight cups) of water every day may help with weight loss. Downing liquid is not the only way to meet this goal. About 20 percent of your hydration needs can be met through your diet, says Caroline Susie, RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

What is a fat burning food? ›

Such fat-burning foods include eggs, nuts, and oily fish. The term “fat-burning foods” may apply to those that produce fat loss by stimulating metabolism, reducing appetite, or reducing overall food intake. All foods stimulate metabolism.

How long does it take for weight to drop? ›

For most people, 1-2 lbs per week is a realistic rate of weight loss. But everyone has a different starting point. A better benchmark is 1-2% of your current weight. Keep to this percentage throughout your diet, and the amount you expect to lose will fall (in line with your new lighter body weight).

Can you notice 10 pounds? ›

"By the time you hit 10 pounds, your jeans will feel differently, absolutely," Blum says. "Just a little looser. Theoretically, 10 pounds is considered one size." Once you get past that first couple pounds where you might not be able to tell, Blum says, you really do start to lose body fat.

Can you drop 15 pounds in a week? ›

You won't lose 15 pounds in a week, unless you're a morbidly obese man. Despite all the working out and the carefully measured healthy food, it's not realistic for a person who is not morbidly obese to lose that amount of weight in seven days.

What is the 3 day diet lose 10 pounds? ›

To lose 10 pounds in 3 days would mean decreasing your calorie intake by 35,000 calories in just 3 days! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends a slow and steady weight loss of no more than 1/2 to 1 pound a week. Otherwise you are losing muscle and water, as well as weakening your bones.

What exercises burn 3500 calories? ›

A 155-pound person burns about 596 calories in 60 minutes going 5 mph on the treadmill. At this rate, it'll take almost six hours to burn 3,500 calories. Even if you weigh more -- say 185 pounds -- and go at a faster pace of 6 mph, it will still take almost four hours to total 3,500 calories burned.

How many calories does 10000 steps burn? ›

Good for you! It takes 20 steps to burn 1 calorie, therefore walking 10,000 steps burns off about 500 calories, which can then be added to your total calorie budget for the day. The recommended daily calorie requirement is 1,800 for an average female and 2,200 for an average male.

Can working out 30 minutes a day help you lose weight? ›

Researchers say the results suggest that 30 minutes of exercise a day may provide additional weight loss benefits. For example, people may still have extra energy leftover after shorter workouts to be more physically active throughout the day.

Can you gain weight from not eating? ›

Not eating won't directly lead to weight gain -- in fact, you may lose weight as you'll temporarily eat fewer calories than you burn. The problem is that fasting is unsustainable, so any weight-loss benefit will likely be short lived and your health will pay the price.

Why do I weigh more after I poop? ›

If you were to weigh yourself before and after pooping, the weight change on the scale would reflect the weight of the stool, which also contains protein, undigested fat, bacteria, and undigested food residues. Of course (and unfortunately), this doesn't mean you've lost weight.

Why do I weigh more than I look? ›

Muscle is denser than fat, and as it is more compact within your body, as you gain muscle mass, you end up looking thinner, no matter your physical weight. So, if you've been doing a lot of strength training lately, it's likely this is the reason that you're looking fantastic but not dropping those numbers.

What is the hardest place to lose fat? ›

As against areas such as legs, face and arms, our stomach and abdominal regions possess beta cells that makes it difficult to reduce the fats easily and lose weight in these areas. However, as per research, belly fat is the most difficult to lose as the fat there is so much harder to break down.

Is face fat the first to go? ›

While everyone loses weight differently, dropping as little as 3 to 5 pounds can show up on your face first, Eboli says.

Where does fat go when you lose weight? ›

  1. When you lose weight, most of it is excreted through the exhalation of carbon dioxide. ...
  2. High levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream have been shown to increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. ...
  3. When fat leaves the body, 84% is exhaled as CO2 and the remaining 16% is excreted as water.
22 Sept 2022

How fast do you lose weight not eating? ›

“On a day you don't eat for 24 hours, you're guaranteed to be losing a third or half a pound of non-water weight that's mostly from body fat,” Pilon told Global News.

What does a 72 hour fast do to your body? ›

The lack of food intake during a long time, like 72 hours without any food, could result in an irregular heartbeat that can cause serious heart problems. People who suffer from any of these listed conditions or illnesses should not fast for 72 hours: Alzheimer's disease. Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Can you lose weight by only drinking water for 3 days? ›

Like other types of fasting, water fasting can help you lose weight. However, it comes with plenty of health risks. If you want to reap the benefits of fasting but also want to lose weight, intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting are probably more effective approaches than water fasting for 24–72 hours.

How fast can I realistically lose 10 pounds? ›

We recommend losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week for sustainable weight loss, which means you could potentially lose 10 pounds in five weeks. However, a more realistic timeline is 10 to 24 weeks, since most people don't have hours to devote to walking every day.

How far do I have to walk to lose a pound? ›

Remember, it's all a simple math equation. 1 Pound weight loss per week with diet changes and walking combined = 2.5 extra miles walked per day (5280 extra steps), and 250 calories less consumed per day, for a total daily caloric deficit of 500 calories.

Does your stomach shrink if you eat less? ›

Myth or Fact: If you cut down on your food intake, you'll eventually shrink your stomach so you won't be as hungry. Answer: Myth. Once you are an adult, your stomach pretty much remains the same size -- unless you have surgery to intentionally make it smaller.

Why am I gaining weight when I'm eating less and working out? ›

You've gained muscle.

And here's an often overlooked fact: Muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue. So as you gain more muscle and lose fat, you change your overall body composition, which can result in a higher weight, but a smaller figure and better health.

How long is it safe to fast? ›

The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter fasting periods of up to 24 hours — especially when you're just starting out. If you want to increase your fasting period to more than 72 hours, you should seek medical supervision.

What food can you survive on the longest? ›

However, there is no known food that supplies all the needs of human adults on a long-term basis. Since Taylor is determined to follow a one-food diet, then potatoes are probably as good as anything, as they contain a wider range of amino acids, vitamins and minerals than other starchy foods, such as pasta or rice.

What happens when you are hungry and don't eat? ›

Low blood sugar causes people to feel irritable, confused and fatigued. The body begins to increase production of cortisol, leaving us stressed and hangry. Skipping meals can also cause your metabolism to slow down, which can cause weight gain or make it harder to lose weight.

What happens if you just stop eating? ›

After eight hours without eating, your body will begin to use stored fats for energy. Your body will continue to use stored fat to create energy throughout the remainder of your 24-hour fast. Fasts that last longer than 24 hours may lead to your body to start converting stored proteins into energy.

What happens when you only drink water? ›

When your main (or only) intake is water, your body loses crucial nutrients it needs. The short-term result is that you will lose a lot of weight, most of which will be water not fat, says Upton.

What happens if you don't eat enough calories? ›

If you're not getting enough calories, chances are you're not getting enough vitamins and minerals either. Nutritional deficiencies may cause a long list of health complications including, but not limited to, anemia, infertility, bone loss, poor dental health and decreased thyroid function.

How quickly can you lose 10 lbs? ›

We recommend losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week for sustainable weight loss, which means you could potentially lose 10 pounds in five weeks.

Is it OK to lose 12 pounds in a week? ›

According to many experts, losing 1–2 pounds (0.45–0.9 kg) per week is a healthy and safe rate (1, 2, 3 ). Losing more than that is considered too fast and could put you at risk of many health problems, including muscle loss, gallstones, nutritional deficiencies and a drop in metabolism ( 4 , 6 , 7 , 8 ).

How can I lose 10lb fast? ›

How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Month: 14 Simple Steps
  1. Try cardio for weight loss. ...
  2. Eat fewer refined carbs. ...
  3. Start counting calories. ...
  4. Choose better beverages. ...
  5. Eat slowly. ...
  6. Add fiber to your diet. ...
  7. Eat a high protein breakfast. ...
  8. Get enough sleep every night.

Is it possible to lose 20lbs in a week? ›

It is probably possible to lose 20 lbs in 7 days if you include the loss of water weight meaning the water that you lose during the diet. In my perspective nothing is impossible, but this is close to it. Good luck in losing weight, you now know the basics of a successful diet!

Is a 6 pound weight loss noticeable? ›

Your height and weight plays a significant role here. However, on average, you would need to lose something in the range of 14 to 19 pounds to notice a difference in your weight. Think about it in percentages. You will start noticing the difference, as soon as you lose a minimum of 2% to 5% of your body weight.

What are the stages of losing weight? ›

The 4 Phases of Weight Loss
  • Phase -1 – GLYCOGEN DEPLETION. Glycogen Depletion: ...
  • Phase -2 – FAT LOSS. This is the sweet spot for healthy weight loss. ...
  • Phase -3 – PLATEAU. ...
  • Phase -4 – METABOLIC RECOVERY. ...
  • All the Phases of Weight Management:
12 Apr 2018

Can you lose weight by walking? ›

Physical activity, such as walking, is important for weight control because it helps you burn calories. If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you'll burn.

How can I burn 500 calories a day? ›

Here are the 12 best fat-burning exercises you can do for 30 minutes a day to expend 500 calories.
...
12 Best Exercises To Burn 500 Calories In 30 Minutes
  1. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) ...
  2. Zumba/Dancing. ...
  3. Kickboxing. ...
  4. Swimming. ...
  5. Running/Sand Running. ...
  6. Weight Training. ...
  7. Rope Jumping. ...
  8. Body Weight Workouts.
26 Oct 2022

Can you lose a pound a day? ›

Although it may be theoretically possible, losing 1 pound (0.5 kg) of body fat per day would require you to significantly increase your physical activity and limit your food intake.

How much do I have to walk to lose 10 pounds? ›

The average person burns 100 calories walking a mile. That means you need to walk 35 miles to lose a pound. The average person needs 2,000 steps to walk a mile. That means the average person needs to walk 700,000 steps to lose ten pounds.

What happens if you fast 7 days? ›

There are many potential side effects to a 7-Day Water Fast, including rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and fatigue. The two most severe side effects are dehydration and muscle loss/weakness. When it comes to weight loss, progress is made by inches, not miles, so it's much harder to track and a lot easier to give up.

How fast can I realistically lose 20 pounds? ›

“A generally accepted rate of healthy weight loss is a half-pound to one-pound per week. So, budget five-to-six months to achieve a 20-pound weight loss,” she says.

How much weight can you lose if you fast for 7 days? ›

While in the past, I have hesitated to give weight loss estimates, I feel it is highly likely that you will quickly drop roughly 10% of your body weight when doing a 7 day water fast.

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